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Police to take no further action over Wales Secretary of State leaflet on Traveller sites

08 Aug 2023 3 minute read
David T.C. Davies. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Claire Hayhurst, PA

Police are taking “no further action” following complaints about a political leaflet sent by the Wales Secretary of State to his constituents that raised concerns about Traveller and Gypsy sites.

The Conservative leaflet asked for people’s opinion on the proposal to establish sites in David TC Davies’ Monmouth constituency.

An advocacy group said the MP’s “actions intended to create a hostile environment for Gypsies and Travellers” but Mr Davies insisted the “location of sites was a legitimate matter for public debate”.

Gwent Police previously said it was aware of the leaflet and was reviewing its content, as well as the impact on the Gypsy and Traveller communities in Monmouthshire.

On Tuesday, the force issued a statement from Chief Superintendent Carl Williams that confirmed that it would not be taking any further action.

Offences

Ch Supt Williams said: “We launched a review into the contents of a leaflet published and distributed in Monmouthshire regarding proposals for a development of a gypsy and traveller site.

“Officers have spoken to several people from the Gypsy and Traveller and Settled communities before seeking advice from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on whether the leaflet’s contents constituted any offences.

“Any allegation of discrimination is taken extremely seriously and following this review, we will not be taking any further action.”

The leaflet, which displays pictures of Mr Davies and one of the potential sites, is headlined: “Gypsy and Traveller site coming to your area soon!”

It talks about a Monmouthshire County Council consultation and says Mr Davies “believes that there will be insufficient consultation with the members of the public affected”.

“The council plans a short consultation during the summer holiday period when many residents will be unable to participate,” it adds.

It then asks people to fill in the form overleaf with their views and send it back to the MP’s constituency office in the area of Usk.

Consultation

One of three questions asks: “Would you like to see a Traveller site next to your house? Y/N.”

Speaking following the criticism, Mr Davies said: “The location of authorised and unauthorised Traveller sites is a legitimate matter for public debate and scrutiny.

“It is entirely valid to criticise a lack of wide public consultation by a council.

“I have been contacted by many upset residents at the shortness of the consultation and the proposed locations for the sites.

“I have also been told that many from the Gypsy and Traveller community are also upset at the proposed locations for the sites. This is not a criticism of the Gypsy and Traveller community.”

Travelling Ahead, which provides advocacy for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Wales, described the leaflet as “dog whistle actions intended to create hostile environment for Gypsies and Travellers”.

The group said it had reported the leaflet to the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Welsh Conservatives and to the House of Commons standards committee.


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karl
karl
9 months ago

Looking after one of their own is it. Surely this should have been looked at differently for the former special. He is clearly a bigot.

Frank
Frank
9 months ago

Well, what did anyone expect? A foregone conclusion!! Just going through the motions in an effort to appear to be concerned.

Marc
Marc
9 months ago

Would you want David TC Davies living next door to you? O Yes O No

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
9 months ago

Q2. Would you like to have a Tory live next door to you? Y/N

Will Davies
Will Davies
9 months ago

Be honest, tho. Would you be happy with a traveller site next door? Be honest.

Rob flood
Rob flood
9 months ago
Reply to  Will Davies

Agreed will .everyone is so precious but in reality they wouldn’t want a traveller site next to them either
And I’m sure the police could be spending time money and energy on other things

Hywel Rees
Hywel Rees
9 months ago
Reply to  Will Davies

True, I wouldn’t. But the chances are so remote, and it distracts from the collosal damage this government is doing, it’s pointless discussing.
That’s why it was on his leaflet.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
9 months ago

Tories and Po;ice have something in common they are both CORRUPT

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago

The police are a joke. If this flier was targeted at Jewish people David TC Davies would lose his job and be up in court for a hate crime. But hey, hatred & prejudice towards Gypsies like the Welsh has been normalised. I’m surprised the police and the Tories haven’t said to the Gypsy community that this flier was merely banter, and to get a sense of humour, which is often said when Wales and the Welsh are the target of slurs. May I suggest to our friends in the Gypsy community that all is not lost. The best way… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
9 months ago

Mmm, by order.

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